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FLASHBACK TO 1961: Plastic bag controversy – what will be the outcome?

THE LAST BAG: SINGLE-USE PLASTIC BAGS FROM THE TWO GIANT STORES WILL BE PHASED OUT BY JUNE 30, 2018. OTHER STORES WILL FOLLOW SUIT. FIFTY-SIX YEARS AGO, I WAS INVOLVED IN THE REAL BEGINNINGS OF THE PLACTIC BAG WAR.

The number of lightweight supermarket bags Australia use annually – 4 billion. The number of bags for every man, woman and child – 170. How many supermarket plastic bags are recycled – 3%. The proportion of dead turtles in Moreton Bay, off Brisbane, found with plastic bags in their stomachs – 40%. How many years plastic bags take to break down – 200-l000.

FRANK MORRIS

The plastic bag “controversy” hit Australia hard when it started to become a serious issue in 1961, fifty-six years ago. As editor of Plastics Retailer, I was a shown a thing or two about decreasing one’s tone in my criticism about the whole affair.

At the time the issue was the number of children dying because they used the plastic bag as a toy.

The Plastics Institute of Australia’s Federal Branch sent out a warning to parents, that “to avoid danger of suffocation this bag is not a toy.”

One story I wrote in July 1961, I said, “Grave doubts have already been expressed upon the effectiveness of the Industry’s campaign to prevent further fatalities from the misuse of thin plastic bags.

NIGHTMARE

“It’s been said that the campaign is a sop to public opinion and will produce no lasting public benefit. It will certainly be under close scrutiny; and by a proportion of very unfriendly observers too, who will be quick to point out failure,” I said.

Scant attention was being paid to the environment. The inhabitants of our beaches and rivers were being overlooked.

After 56 years, the plastic bags sequel had simply turned into a nightmare.

Pictures:  The first step. The Plastics Retailer and one of the historic pages.

PLASTIC BAGS, 2O17: BIG STORES TAKE ACTION TO BAN THE BAGS!

Across Australia single-use plastic bags will be phased out in 12 months’ time by the supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles. Single-use, or thin, plastic bags will be “things of the past” the officials announced the dramatic change last Friday.

That means, by June 30 next year plastic bags will be limited.

RIGHT TO THE END

“The move is welcomed by environmental groups,” one Sunday newspaper said.  The groups have long campaigned against plastic bags.

The supermarkets giants, apart from Queensland, will have implemented “state-wide bans” to take place next year. There are plans in place for Queensland to do the same thing.

All through the plastic bag procedure in NSW, the Government remained silent.

PICTURE: No go. After all the continual parry and thrust of media, concerned citizens, environmentalists and assorted groups comes the end of the plastic bag reign in 12 month time.


IT BEEN 200 YEARS since Jane Austen’s death on July 18, 1817. Austen expert, Professor Devoney Looser, flew into Sydney to give a keynote speech at the University of Sydney, which had just discovered an original first edition of Austen’s Mansfield Park published in l814. The book is now in their rare books collection. In letters to one newspaper, it was said that “Jane Austen has brought the enjoyment of reading to millions of people around the world, myself included … The world needs to continue to promote reading books and the masterpieces of this brilliant writer.” In another: “Jane Austen was a brilliant social commentator and observer … Her writing is timeless.” – FM.


INSIDE NEWSPAPERS: INTERNATIONAL EXPRESS, LONDON – WHAT A BREEZE SAID SUPERHERO!

A girl of seven who is a carer for her disabled older brothers has been turned into a superhero character in the Beano comic. Breeze Martin helps her parents look after wheelchair-bound Coast, 9, and Blue, 10, who battle severe autism and need 24-hour care.

In her spare time Breeze loves to read the Beano, which she has adored since buying an old annual at the school fair when she was four.

She wrote to the Beano revealing: “I like looking after my severely disabled brother Coast … I also like drama and roast dinners.”

I’M FAMOUS

Bosses at the comic responded by dedicating at entire page to Breeze. In the cartoon Breeze has the “amazing” ability to “fix things and make people feel better” and helps Beano’s Minnie The Minx mend her catapult.

In real life Breeze is devoted to helping mum Becky, 42, and dad John, 55.

Breeze said: “It’s really fun being in the Beano. My friends think I’m famous.” She was made “Beano Boss” for the issue.

Beano’s editorial director said: “If we do a tiny thing that makes a kid like her happy, it’s top notch for us.” –Adapted by Frank Morris.

<< From International Express, June 29-July 5, 2017.

Picture: Beano fun. Hero Breeze and the comic she starred in for being a carer.


ON THE RUN: FEBRUARY I, 1919, THE 18-FOOT CHAMPIONSHIPS OF AUSTRALIA ON SYDNEY HARBOUR. BOATS FROM MOST STATES SAILED. WINNER WAS MAVIS OF NSW.

FLASHBACK: MARK FOY, FATHER OF THE 18 FOOTERS

(They were our glory days! Sailing has been a popular pastime in Australia since the early days of settlement. These photographs were contributed by Lyne Hirsch who recalls some of the sport’s glory days of the last century. “My grandfather, Henry Carl Press, was involved in the establishment of the Sydney Flying Squadron and sailed 18-footers,” Lyne said. “Our amazing grandfather also built boat at Woolloomooloo, had ferries on Sydney Harbour, as well hire boats at picnic grounds. A boat named in his honour, the HC Press ll, won many big races during the 1920s and ‘30s and was known as “The Phar Lap of the 18-footer world.’”)

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Born on the Bendigo goldfields in Victoria on February 2, 1865, Mark Foy came to Sydney in 1884 with his brother Francis, where they began business under the name ‘Mark Foy.'

Regarding Sydney Harbour as the world's finest aquatic playground, he had ample means and sufficient leisure to indulge his hobby – sailing.

To his great disappointment, he learned that sailing attracted practically no public interest – reasoning it was mainly because yachtsmen did not cater for the public.

The major problem was producing a faster boat, but Foy solved this with the first of the 18-footers. It was an open, centreboard boat with a very light hull, an 8 ft beam and only 30 inches amidships.

It carried a crew of 14, at most (compared to the previous boats' 25) and had a huge spread of sail which gave it a sensational aquaplaning speed downwind.

Foy catered for the enthusiast who liked to follow his fancy throughout a race. His first idea of striped sails as identity marks was dropped, due to the prohibitive cost of manufacturing varying designs for registration, and later replaced with the colourful emblems which are still the distinguishing badge of the racing 18-footers.

FOY’S FIGHTING BLOOD

In the eyes of the Anniversary Regatta committee of 1892, the ‘gaudy' emblems constituted heresy toward the traditional numbering, All entries from Sydney Flying Squadron members were rejected on the ground that “such large badges were not in keeping with the dignity of the oldest regatta in the southern hemisphere”.

This got Foy's fighting blood up and he announced, “We'll run our own regatta on Anniversary Day. I'll pay for it and we'll give the public just what it wants”.

A triangular course of about three miles was plotted. From a start at Garden Island, boats would round Pinchgut, run into Mosman Bay and then past Clark Island to the finish.

The course would be sailed, according to official direction, either clockwise or anti-clockwise. The prime purpose was that close handicapping would bunch the field for a spectacular, downwind run along the “straight”.

Clark Island, which offered an excellent view of the whole race, was vital to the success of Foy's plan. By chartering every available ferry for the day of the regatta, he aimed to pack the natural grandstand with paying spectators. Each 1,000 ferry fans would add 50 pounds to profits, which would enable more prizemoney to be given.

Foy whipped enthusiasm to fever pitch. He hired bands to play on Clark Island, at the major ferry terminals, on the ferries and on the specially chartered flagship for the day.

Hire-pressure publicity given to Foy's plans paid a big dividend. On regatta day, Clark Island was packed to capacity. Crowded, moored ferries provided additional accommodation, while every jetty and vantage point from Mosman to Milson's Point and Darling Point to the Rocks was thronged.

The crowd was without precedent in the annals of yacht racing in Australia yet most of the spectators knew little about the sport and less about the official regatta.

The vast majority were there to thrill to the excitement that Foy had promised. By evening they were the forefathers of the 18-footer enthusiasts, participants and spectators of today.

Wisely, Foy allowed the official yacht to steal the initial thunder. Waiting until the competing yachts had disappeared towards the Heads, he cashed in on the public's boredom.

BOW TO BOW FINISH

Prizemoney totalling One hundred and twenty six pounds had attracted Squadron skippers and Foy was able to stage three races over his triangular course with no distraction from the vanished official fleet.

The public got its money's worth. The coloured badges of the 18-footers were an instant success and excitement ran high when the closely packed fields turned downwind for the run home.

At the start there had been less than three minutes between the scratch and the limit boats. Now, a dozen boats raced for the line in a bow-to-bow finish. By nightfall, the success of 18-footer racing on the Foy system was assured.

Foy had demonstrated emphatically that 18-footer racing was the most exciting participant and spectator sport ever seen on Sydney Harbour. Its status has never been seriously challenged since. Sydney Flying Squadron entries were accepted without quibble at the next regatta.

Foy did all in his power to lease or obtain Clark Island as a fixed grandstand to view races with the Squadron's own ferries transporting patrons. This request was refused, sympathetically, as all islands are public parks.

<< Adapted from Mark Foy, Father of the 18-footers.

Picture: Home and away. The H.C Press ll, with double stripes, surges in a race on Sydney Harbour. H.C. Press ll was shown is the Sportsman in August, 1932, with skipper, Chris Webb, who was described as “the famous old man of The Spit. I did it. Mark Foy, organiser of the 18-footers.


COMING! THIS THE FIRST TIME THAT SHERLOCK HOLMES AND FRIENDS WILL BE PUBLISHED.

In one part of the Sherlock narrative, the visualisation of Holmes was still an untidy affair. Conan Doyle sent the first six Holmes stories, published under the collective title of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in The Strand, and posted them to Alfred Harmsworth, the future Lord Northcliffe, the owner of the journal. Harmsworth wrote back: “I agree with you that the illustrations have to be excellent. Sidney Paget is the name.” The first instalment is published in July. – FM.


 

 THAT’S ALL, FOLKS: TOMMY BURNS WAS WELL BEATEN BY JACK JOHNSON UNTIL THE POLICE STOPPED THE FIGHT IN THE 14TH ROUND.`

THE FIGHT: NOBODY WANTED TO MISS IT – POLICE CALLED IN TO STOP THE BATTLE

FRANK MORRIS, ERIC READE

On December 29, 1908, it was left to Sydney Stadium of all places to screen the sporting classic of the year The Johnson-Burns Fight. This contest had taken place in the ring of the stadium three days earlier, when the police stopped the fight and Johnson was declared the winner on points.

Film pioneer Eric Reade, who wrote about the tussle, said: “Hugh McIntoch, who refereed the fight, was dressed in a white suit to make him more conspicuous in the film” and The Sydney Morning Herald, which described the film ’as the greatest series of pictures since motion photography became a fine art.’”

HIGGINS TO THE FORE

Reade said: “It showed every face in the 20,000 present, the crush outside, the advanced trained tactics of both champions, and every detail of the 14 round battle until police stopped the fight.”

It was this film that brought Ernest Higgins to the fore as one of truly ace cinematographers on the Australian circuit.

Higgins, born in Hobart, became a bioscope operator in his home town in 1903. He and his brothers Arthur and Tasman, were “to raise the standard of Australian photography to equal, often better, the efforts of cameramen overseas.”

<< The Australian Screen; Eric Reade; Lansdowne Press, Melbourne 3000; 1975; Frank Morris.

*More episodes of The Fight coming up.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 20 July 17

ROLF BOLDREWOOD DAYS: PART 1. Life at Yambuk – blue and golden days were waiting!

NOT MADE TO ORDER: PART OF THE YAMBUK RUN WAS DISTINCTLY DANGEROUS RIDING. MANY A GOOD STEED AND HORSEMAN HAVE BITTEN THE DUST.

Thomas Alexander Browne, later to become Rolf Boldrewood, was born in 1826. Browne grew up in Sydney and went on to have a varied career, working, among other things, on stations in the Riverina and the Western District of Victoria, and as a magistrate in Albury. Writing under the pen-name of Rolf Boldrewood, he became well-known for his famous bushranging novel Robbery Under Arms. Browne spent some time on Yambuk, a cattle station on the west coast of Victoria, in the 1840s. – FM.                                 

THOMAS ALEXANDER BROWNE

Once upon time, in a “kingdom by the sea”, known to men as Port Fairy, Yambuk, was a choice and precious example of an old-fashioned cattle station. If one could easily ride up … to that garden gate, receive the old cordial welcome, and turn his horse into the paddock, what a fontaine de jouvence – fountain of youth – it would be?

Touching the groves on the opposite side of the Shaw River, down to a bank of which the garden sloped, were broad limestone flats, upon which rose clumps of the beautiful lightwood or hickory trees, some of Australia’s noblest growth, when old and shady.

The cottage, low roofed, veranda protected, was thatched at the early period I recall, the rafters b0.eing picked from the strongest of the slender ti-tree saplings in the brush which bordered the river side. The mansion was not that imposing.

The rooms were of fair size, the hospitality refined, and pervading every look and tone; and we, who in old days, often shared in on our journeys to and from the metropolis of the district, would not have exchanged it for a palace.

YAMBUK -- EXTREMELY PICTURESQUE

A man with a thousand head of well-bred cattle, on a run, capable of holding half as many more, so as to leave a reserve in case of bushfires and bad seasons, was thought fairly endowed with this world’s goods.

If prudent, he was able to afford himself a trip to Melbourne twice a year or so; and to save money in reason. He generally kept a few brood mares, and was enabled to rear a superior hack for himself or friend.

As it was not the custom to keep more than a stockman, and one other man for general purposes, he had a reasonable share of daily work cut out for himself.

Yambuk was then an extremely picturesque station, combining within its limits unusual variety of soil and scenery, land and water. The larger grazing portion consisted of open undulating limestone ridges, which ran parallel with the sea beach.

BLUE AND GOLDEN DAYS

The River Shaw, deepening as it emptied into the ocean, was the south-eastern boundary of the run. Beside the limestone ridges were sandy hillocks, thickly covered with the forest oak, which growing almost to the beach, braved the stern sea-blast.

What was very sound and well sheltered were these low hills, affording the most advantageous quarters to the herd in the long, cold winters of the west.

When our dreamy summertime was o’er, a truly Arcadian season, with “blue and golden days” and purple shadowed eves, wild wrathful gales hurtled over the ocean waste, rioting southward to the pole which lay beyond.

Mustering then in bad weather was a special experience. Gathering on the sea-hills, the winter’s day darkening fast, a drove (herd) of heavy bullocks …lumbering over the sand ridges ahead of us, amid the flying sand and spume (foam), their hoofs in the surf … it was a season study; worth riding many a mile to see.

How often has that picture been recalled to me in later years! The sad-toned, far- stretching shore; the angry storm-voices of the terrible deep; the little band of horsemen; the lowing, half-wild drove; the red-litten cloud prison, wherein the sun lay dying!

<< Life at Yambuk adapted from Australian Pathways, Spring 1998.

Pictures: The cattle are coming! The cattle make a mad dash for land on the side of the creek. One escaped. Two stockman ambushed a bullock.


VALE: AUTHOR MICHAEL BOND WITH PADDINGTON BEAR.

CREATOR OF PADDINGTON BEAR, DIES AT 91 – HE WAS A DAZZLING WIT

The tributes never stop! They poured in for the creator of Paddington Bear Michael Bond who died aged 91. The author passed away at home on Tuesday, July 4, following a short illness. I regard him as one of the finest examples of childrens’ authors around. Bond introduced his famous creation in 1958’s A Bear Called Paddington. He would entertain kids with his bear for more than 20 books. “He will be forever remembered,” his publisher said. – FM.


HEAD COVERING: NED KELLY, IN FULL GEAR, WAITING ON THE REPLY FROM THE POLICE. (SIR SYDNEY NOLAN CENTENARY, AND TO MARK THE 100 YEARS, THIS PRINT OF KELLY IS INCLUDED IN AN EXCLUSIVE COLLECTION OF ICONIC PRINTS. CONTACT: thestore.com.au/nolan

BUSHRANGERS! PART 2. THEY HAD A DEEP-SEATED HATRED OF SQUATTERS

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Bushranging in Australia can be divided into two fairly distinct periods or phases. The first bushrangers were convicts who escaped from their chains to the comparative, often temporary, freedom of the wilds.

Of these, Matthew Brady and Martin Cash in Van Diemen’s Land and Willian Westwood (“Jacky Jacky) and Bold Jack Donahoe from NSW are best known. Their careers were, with few exceptions, short and tragic.

The second and major phase of bushranging dates from the 1860s when alluvial gold had largely petered out; and gold-diggers, unable to afford the expense of quartz mining, turned to the land for a livelihood.

Under public pressure, the legislature of NSW introduced a Land Act in 1861, with the object of unlocking the lands to small farming. The squatters, holding the best lands as sheep runs, resented this intrusion on their preserves.

They opposed the new “selectors”, the small scale farmers, with every weapon at their disposal. They employed “dummies” to buy up the blocks of land – the “selections – as they were put up for sale.

DIED GAME                                                                                       

Beside their wealth, the squatters had behind them the power of the legislature. They fenced the small selectors in with variety of repressive measures. The police force was of a generally poor calibre and showed little sympathy for

With few exceptions, the bushrangers of this period and up to the time of Ned Kelly’s death in 1880, sprang from this class. While their motives in turning to robbery under arms were varied and considerable, in each instance an underlying hatred of the squatters seems to have been involved.*

Meet Jack Doolan, the legendary “Wild Colonial Boy”, Ben Hall, “Darkie” Gardiner, Johnny Gilbert, Dunn, “Thunderbolt” and later Ned Kelly. Kelly and his mates all became the people’s hero-symbols in the fight against the squatters.

The bushrangers fought fairly and “died game”, it was claimed.

<< Bill Wannan’s The Australian -- Yarn, legends, ballads; Currey, O’Neil Publishers, Melbourne.

Pictures: They knew everything. Fred Lowry (top) and John Gilbert knew what was expected of the bushranger.


HE’S BACK! SPIDER-MAN PITS HIMSELF FOR ANOTHER JOURNEY AGAINST THUGGERY AND EVIL OPPONENTS.

CLASSIC REPEAT: SPIDER-MAN – THE CULT IS STILL GROWING!

“I’m one of his most ardent fans,” said Stan Lee, the creator.

FRANK MORRIS

The Spider-Man cult is growing in leaps and bounds in Australia, so much so that the genial Super Hero’s comic books have become a much sought-after commodity by collectors.

In some comic exchanges around the country early Spider-Man pulp ranges in price from $10 to $15 a copy. Signed copies by the Spider-Man creators would spiral in price.
The ubiquitous Spider-Man is one of a galaxy of comic superstars that has become a ‘blockbuster’ for the America publishing company, Marvel Comics.

Such literary landmarks as the Amazing Spider-Man and The Avengers -- The Hulk, Iron-man, Thor, Captain America and Back Widow – have paved the way to take the Comic Kingdom by storm.

Spider-Man’s creator, Stan Lee, had been toying about a “doing a strip that would break all the conventions – break all the rules.”

In his book on the history of Marvel Comics, Lee writes: “Just for kicks, I wanted to be different.”

PULP MAGAZINE HEROES

“I wanted to create a strip that would actually feature a teenager as the main character who would lose out as often as he’d win.”

In the 1930s, one of America’s favourite pulp magazine heroes was a stalwart named The Spider. Stan Lee, believe it or not, was one of his “most ardent” fans.

Write Lee: “The Spider wore a slouch hat and a finger ring which, when he punched a foe fearlessly, would leave its mark – an impression of a spider.  “It was The Spider’s calling card and it sent goose pimples up and down my ten-year-old spine.”

Although The Spider had no superhuman powers, Lee “was grabbed” by the name.

I BARED MY SOUL

When Lee mentioned the idea of a spider-type character to his chief he was informed that “people didn’t like spiders” and that it was an unlikely name for a hero.

Write Lee: “It was then I bared my soul. I related how my childish heart would madly pound in breathless anticipation new for each new issue of The Spider.

“I zealously explained that The Spider-Man would be a trendsetter, a freak character in tune with the times.”

Lee contended that everybody knew about Superman – so the time had come for “a competitor” to hit the scene.

And that’s where his childhood took over. It had to be Spider-Man, he writes.

And it was.

<< Grand Years ran this article about 6 years ago. This Spider-Man was originally published in 1984. It wasn’t written until after I had read Stan Lee’s book.


 

CARS: FAMILY’S WOULD LOVE THIS ONE -- PLASTIC PONTIAC, THE GHOST

The 1939 Pontiac DeLuxe Six “Ghost Car” was first displayed at the World’s Fair in New York of that year. It was originally built at a cost of $25,000. It was sold recently by RM Auctions for $309,000.

After the World Fair it went on display to dealers around the country spending some time at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC.

The car had only 86 miles on the clock at the time of the auction.

HOW MANY WERE BUILT?

It was built by General Motors and Rohm & Hess Chemical Company who developed the Plexi-Glas material in 1937. It has been used by the aircraft industry from that time on. The metalwork was treated in copperplate and chrome plating.

How many of unique 1939 Pontiacs were built in a mystery. But it is believed that one was a later update fitted with the 1940s front sheet-metal. The spare wheel is clearly visible from inside the trunk; and the dashboard is in steel, as are the floor panels.

<< Photographs from the Internet and Special Interests Auto magazine. Article appear in Restored Car, May-June 2017.

Picture: Firmly built. The dashboard is in steel, as are the floor panels.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 13 July 17

CLASSIC REPEAT: Australia at war -- Sydney raided by 3 midget subs

THE THREE WERE FOUND: THE THREE SUBS THAT LEFT SYDNEY HARBOUR IN TATTERS ON THE FATEFUL NIGHT AFTER THEY CAUSED A LOAD OF DAMAGE. THE THIRD SUB WAS DISCOVERED AS A SUNKEN VESSEL OFF DEE WHY, A SYDNEY BEACH, IN 2006.

Seventy-five years ago, Sydney was attacked by 3 midget subs.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

Three enemy midget submarines sneaked through Sydney Harbour Heads under the cover of darkness on Sunday night to attack shipping, docks and defence installations.

One midget sub released two torpedoes, one of which hit and sank a Sydney ferry.

As soon as the Japanese started to attack, at least 6 homes in the Sydney eastern suburbs were damaged. 
In one of the few moments in which the violence of war fell immediately on Sydney, three Japanese midget submarines succeeded in entering the Harbour.

The initial indication of the presence of the midget subs was given when an explosion occurred and the guns began to fire. Searchlights swept the water and ferry passengers had a timely experience.

Shells whistled round them and the sharp crack of machine-gun fire could be heard.

IT SHOOK VIOLENTLY

As a report revealed later, the first explosion was caused by one of the torpedoes fired by the submarine which came to the surface. Its conning-tower and periscope were seen by ferry passengers.

A seaman, who was on watch on the deck of a steamer moored near the harbour ferry which was hit, said: “Bright moonlight was flooding the water … periscope and conning tower were clearly visible only 50 yards away from where I stood.

“I thought I must have been dreaming. For a moment I thought it must be one of our own submarines, but I was quickly disillusioned. While I was watching the black object … there was a terrific explosion … it shook violently and began to sink.

“Almost simultaneously there was a burst of gunfire. It was the smartest bit of work I have ever seen. The submarine remained visible for a few minutes… by that time the conning tower must have been riddled with bullets.”

How does the midget sub work?

CRUISING SPEED 20 KNOTS

A sketch of the Japanese two-man submarine, prepared by G.H. Davis, was released by the US Navy Department during the attack by the these vessels on shipping in Pearl Harbour.

The craft, which is 42 feet in length, is divided into five compartments. The conning tower is four and a half feet high. The 18in torpedo is housed in the bow.

At slow speed the craft has a cruising range of some 200 miles, and it is claimed that it has a top speed of 20 knots.

No internal-combustion or surface-cruising motors are fitted, and power is provided by electric motors used both on the surface and under the water.

The crew consists of an officer and a rating.

<< From the Courier-Mail and the Sydney Morning Herald on June 2, 1942.

Pictures: Half sunk: HMAS Kuttabul sits partly submerged in the waters of Sydney Harbour. The third sub fired two torpedoes at the USS Chicago but instead sank the ferry killing twenty-one sailors. Down and out. The wreck of the midget sub in 2006.


AT FULL GALLOP: THIS TIME A BUSHRANGER LEFT BEHIND THE POLICE  AT FULL BAY.

NEXT WEEK: BUSHRANGERS -- THESE MEN DISPLAYED CERTAIN HEROIC TENDENIES

Australia can be divided into two fairly distinct periods or phases are far as bushrangers are concerned. First they were convicts who escaped from their chains to the comparative, and often temporary, freedom of the wilds. Of these, Matthew Brady and Martin Cash in Van Diemen’s Land, William Westwood (Jacky Jacky) and Bold Jack Donahoe in NSW are best known. Their careers were … short and tragic. Next week. Part 2 of Bushrangers. Next month. Captain Thunderbolt territory!                                    


YOU’RE IN THE ARMY: ELVIS JOINED THE MARINES WHEN HE WAS ON TOP. NO WAY WAS HIS RUN-AWAY POPULARITY DENTED.

FLASKBACK: ELVIS – AFTER 40 YEARS THE LEGEND LIVES ON

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

A jet once owned by Elvis Presley, reported AAP, has sold for more than half-a-million dollars. The jet had been sitting in Roswell, New Mexico for 35 years.

The press agency said that the plane sold at auction for $US430,000 ($576,000) to an undisclosed buyer. It added that the auction house said Elvis designed the interior that has gold-tone woodwork, red velvet seats and red shag carpet.

It added the red 1962 Lockheed Jetstar has no engine and needs a restoration of its cockpit.
In the 1970s, reported Anthony O’Grady, when Elvis was constantly touring America, many of his shows presented him as a bloated, pallid parody of his own legend. Remarkably, though, his voice never failed.

He died in 1977, 40 years ago, since he passed away.

SUPER MONEY-MAKER

Early after his death, his frantic fans were crying on his anniversary “is this the year you planned to do something different”… “I wondering when you are going to come out of hiding”… “If you could drop me a line to say you are well” … “I know deep down that you you’re alive” and so on.

Even when he was dead or alive, Elvis was still the super money-maker of all facet of music.

It’s 40 years ago that the undisputed King of Rock n’ Roll died at Graceland, his Memphis home. Officials of Memphis are still saying that Elvis is purported to bring millions of dollars a year to his home town.

In a career that spanned 23 years, he made 33 movies and dozens of hit records as a matter of course. He went from Memphis truck driver to the most successful and remembered rock star the world has known.

GROSSLY OVERWEIGHT

Born into poverty in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis was the surviving member of twins. His first public appearance was at a Country Fair where he sang Old Shep at the age of 10. In 1954, while working as a driver, he was discovered by Sun Records supremo Sam Phillips.

His first hit, That’s All Right Mama, was released in August.

He was with Sun Records for two years and then he signed with manager Colonel Tom Parker who moved him to RCA Records and topped charts around the world with Heartbreak Hotel. Even a two-year stint in the army could not dent his spectacular popularity.

Sadly, his health deteriorated in the mid-70s due to his dependence on drugs. By the time of his death, he was grossly overweight and obviously ailing.

The legend lives on, and it is the measure of his greatness that we still pay homage to the King of Rock today.

<< Anthony O’Grady, Anthony Batson in New York. They were journalists on the Sun, Sydney, now defunct; Frank Morris.

Pictures: The legend lives on! A special A3-sized poster showing the many facets of his personality during his ongoing climb as the King of Rock a’ Roll. The poster was drawn by Steve McNally. The end. The newspaper tells all.


A BODY OF TALENT: IN ITS 12TH YEAR OF PERFORMING FOR THE PUBLIC ON A HIGH-RANKING TELEVISION SHOW, YTT ARE NEARING THE END OF THEIR ILLUSTRIOUS CAREERS. SOME OF THE STARS WHO WERE PART OF THE SHOW INCLUDED DEBRA BYRNE, JAMIE REDFERN, JOEY PERRONE, TINA ARENA AND DANNI MINOGUE.

SMALL SCREEN SUCCESS: PART 2. YOUNG TALENT TIME MAGIC PACKS ‘EM IN

FRANK MORRIS

The latest crop on Johnny Young’s Talent Time is poised to rewrite the record books at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

Bookings have been “so great” for YTT’s family Christmas spectacular that promoters have had to slot in a third concert. Over the last four weeks the box office has been running hot, and ticket sales have exceeded the 25,000 mark.

“The third concert was scheduled because of the demand.” Promoter Henry Hess told this column. “It’s quite an achievement for an Australian show. 

ONE OF THE SUCCESS STORIES

Television’s Young Talent Time, which some critics said would not last, is one of the success stories of Australian entertainment.

A few weeks ago the show clocked up its 600th episode on the Channel 9 network.

When Johnny Young started YTT 12 years ago he expected it to run for 13 weeks. Some of Australia’s best known TV and club stars began their show business careers with the show. Today, many formers YTTers are in demand overseas.

<< Written in 1984.

Picture: Poster girl! Tina Arena has made a life of her own after YTT folded.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 07 July 17

FLASHBACK: Elvis Presley, the legend lives on… Here’s a memory of that time!

STILL THE KING: “THE KING IS DEAD. LONG LIVE THE KING.” OVER THE RADIO 44 YEARS AGO WE HEARD THAT ELVIS PRESLEY HAD PASSED AWAY AT GRACELAND, HIS FAMOUS MEMPHIS HOME. EVEN A TWO-YEAR STINT IN THE ARMY COULD NOT DENT HIS PHENOMENAL POPULARITY. HE LEFT US WITH WHOLE A LOT OF MEMORIES. SADLY, HIS HEALTH FAILED IN THE MID-7Os.7

He was bloated and a pallid parody of his own legend. But, remarkably, his voice never failed. To Elvis from a genuine fan: “I was wondering when you are going to come out of hiding? That was written on the tenth anniversary of his death. Also: Elvis Presley’s plane, which was sitting on the airfield for 35 years, was sold. Next: The Memory Lives On.


BOOKS, BOOKS: FINAL! -- STAN SMITH, AN AUSSIE JOURNALIST, RARE BOOK COLLECTION

These are pricey collectibles.

FRANK MORRIS

The (Stan) Smith Collection, of 308 lots, was auctioned at Sotheby’s in London in 1998, and was expected to fetch around $3 million. Writes Peter Fish, in the Sydney Morning Herald, “Smith has been posthumously awarded what is perhaps the ultimate accolade for the dedicated collector: to be auctioned at Sotheby’s as a single-owner collection.”

Among Smith’s prized collection* was John Gould’s Birds of Australia, which contained 681 poster sized, hand coloured lithographed plates. The 36 parts, seven volumes in all, each measuring 55cm by 37cm, were bound in green morocco leather.

The last part appeared in 1848, but a supplementary volume was published in 1869. This sought-after Gould is valued at $300,000 or more. Individual prints from disbound versions, claims Fish, “such as the colourful cockatoos have sold for nearly $10,000 apiece.”

Some of the other Gould material in the Smith Collection is included in a first edition (1837-1838) of Synopsis of the Birds of Australia, seven volumes of Birds of Asia (1850-1883), Birds of Europe (1832-1837) and a Century of Birds from the Himalaya Mountains (1831-1832).

LEAR’S – A BRILLIANT SERIES

John Gould’s Birds of Australia has been acclaimed as “the most celebrated of Australian bird books.” Writes rare book curator and historian Michael Richards: “The book was the works of a self-made zoological entrepreneur, who invested fifteen thousand pounds in the project … (but) it is as much the achievement of Gould’s wife, Elizabeth Coxen, as his own.”

An accomplished artist in her own right, Elizabeth transferred many of the painstakingly researched drawings to stone lithology until her death, aged 37, soon after the birth of her sixth child, 1841.

According to Fish, the two other stand-out rarities in Smith’s trove were Edward Lear’s Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae (parrots) published between 1830-1832 “and based on a brilliant series of drawings by the then eighteen-year-old Lear”, and St George Mivart’s Monograph of the Lorries (lorikeets), published in 1896.

Fish writes that the flower books were “almost as well represented as bird books” in the Smith Collection.

Congratulations Stan, wherever you are; it was great to catch up with you again at long last!

<< From Australian Book Collector (103), February 1999.

* This Collection was auctioned 1998 and these prices have risen substantially.

Pictures: The Master. John Gould’s Birds of Australia is regarded as the most celebrated in the world. Gould died in 1870. Early to modern Australasia. Two Tasmanian Tigers looking for prey. The last of the Tasmanian Tigers died in Tasmania in 1936.


TOGETHERNESS: TWO SHIPS OF THE AUSTRALIAN STATION AT ANCHOR IN FARM COVE, SYDNEY. THE FOUR-FUNNELLED WARSHIP IS THE CRUISER HMS POWERFUL, ONE OF THE LARGER VESSELS THEN AFLOAT. SHE WAS FLAGSHIP OF THE AUSTRALIAN STATION FROM 1905 TILL 1912. THE SMALLER VESSEL CAME TO SYDNEY IN 1890. SHE WAS PAID OFF IN 1907.

PART 1 -- AUSSIE NAVY, THEN ROYAL AUSTRALIAN, ON THE GO! IN THE DARK DAYS …

FRANK MORRIS

The Australian Navy started in 1887. The House of Commons passed the Australasian Defence Act which gave legal effect to an agreement that an “auxiliary squadron” of five destroyers and two torpedo gunboats was to supplement the existing British squadron in Australian waters.

Because of the financial straits Australia was in at the time, towards the end of the last century, and the lack of a central Government, the 1887 scheme was slow to take shape.

Long before the RAN got its ticket to serve, Australian sailors were involved in wars. During the 1860s, they sailed to the second Maori war in New Zealand; and then, and the turn of the century, the Boxer Rebellion -- a violent anti-foreign, anti-Christian uprising – in China.

MANY HEADY BATTLES

The rise of Germany as a naval power early in the 1880s gave urgency to the development of an Australian station. The Naval Defence Act of 1910 was passed; and in October 1911, the King authorised the adoption of the title – Royal Australian Navy.

After the RAN’s birth, Australia fought many heady sea battles and lost ships from the Atlantic to the Pacific; in the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean through two world wars. Next was the Korean War, the Malaysian emergency and the Vietnam War, where Australia manned its battle stations.

The Royal Australian Navy, in its 106 years, has not only established a brilliant record of service and participated in many major events, said Historical Firsts, but has acquired a vital role in the sea defences of the free world.

Picture: The first. The Spitfire was launched in 1855. As the first war vessel built in NSW, the Spitfire was 60 tons and mounted a long 32-pounder gun.


Wild about Harry! It is twenty years since the author J.K. Rowling unleashed the boy wizard, Harry Potter, on to an unsuspecting public.


WE CAN’T HELP LAUGHING: WE’RE CONSTANLY BEING TOLD TO KEEP HAPPY AND FIGHTING FIT. WE WERE EVEN TOLD TO CLIMB A MOUNTAIN. WE LOOKED AT EACH OTHER AND LAUGHED UPROARIOUSLY.

CLASSIC REPEAT! FINAL. LAUGHING MATTERS! A LIGHT-HEARTED APPROACH TO LIVING LONGER

Do you cringe every time you hear a bad joke?  You’ve been told that you suffering from a severe cardiovascular condition -- would you cringe at this time. Remember, CD is one of the country’s top killers!

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

A good belly laugh, especially when you share it with other people, appears to be the only type of laughter which creates a pain-relieving endorphin rush. It turns out that our ability to laugh at life’s little things matters.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Australia. Nine in 10 Aussies have at least one risk factor for developing this chronic malady, and one person dies from it every 12 minutes. The word “heart disease” is responsible for 34 per cent of all deaths in Australia – almost 22,000 are men – a year.

A new essential element is emerging: whether or not you’re having a good time.

MEANS LONGER LIFE

Researchers are discovering that enjoying life, being satisfied with it and generally feeling positive and content can help keep your heart happy. Those who exhibit these traits and behaviours may be less likely to experience heart disease or heart attacks or strokes.

What’s more, having a good time in life seems to work in a dose-dependent manner: the more we enjoy ourselves, the more our hearts will thank us. 

Some of the research is quite interesting.

What’s love got to do with it, you might ask. Researchers wanted to know whether loving life meant a longer life. To do so, they conducted a 12-year study with almost 90,000 people. The researchers found that the men in their study, who didn’t enjoy life, were 1.5 times more likely to experience a stroke or heart disease than those who had a high-level of enjoyment.

The ‘unhappy’ men would probably die of a coronary-related heart problem.

Feeling satisfied with life has many aspects. According to researchers, 8000 men and women had to find out which facets were the most important when it came to protecting their heart.

Researchers found out that those who were satisfied with their job, family, self and sex lives were 26 per cent less likely to develop heart disease.

Recently, researchers have looked at the link between seeing every cloud has a silver lining and cardiovascular problems. One such study followed a group of healthy elderly men for 15 years and found that the most optimistic of the bunch were 50 per cent less likely to die from heart complaints.

Picture: Laugh, laugh, laugh: A light-hearted approach to living longer. Your heart will thank you!


THE THREE BEARS: CAPTAIN BEAR (SUDIMA HOTELS/RESORTS), GEORGE, FROM THE GEORGE (HELLO, THANK YOU  FOR CARING FOR ME) AND RED NOSE BEAR (I’D RATHER HAVE A KIP THAN WEAR THIS RED NOSE).

THERE’S A BEAR IN THERE – BEARS ARE NOT JUST FOR KIDS …

FRANK MORRIS

Teddy Bears come in all shapes and sizes!

Children love them, and so do adults. There’re big bears and little bears, tall bears and short bears, soft and cuddly bears, firm-jointed bears and “dignified” growler bears.

Although there are about 270 varieties of teddies, says one toy show owner, “pink teddies are the most popular. Usually, these are bought for little girls.”

How do you find that special bear?

“Teddy bear collectors love to find Australian-made bears from old family collections,” said a spokesman for the Dolls Collectors Club. “At the same time, a wonderful selection of choices of early German, English, French and American teddies are on offer.”

LITERARY BEARS POPULAR

Currently popular, are bears from the German firm Shuco renowned for their “small mechanical teddies and toys.” The spokesman said the key-wind bears can walk and roller skate; and there are other bears with two faces, others nod ‘yes/no’.

“While others hide ladies’ compacts or perfume bottles.”

Among the great bears are the German-made Steiffs which are in high demand. They are made in all sizes. Literary bears such as Winnie-the-Pooh and Rupert, according to the spokesman, “are popular.”

A large array of bears are very hard to pass by.

Picture: Teddy Bears. The came in all colours of the rainbow.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 03 July 17

CLASSIC REPEATS! The Great War: HMAS Australia steamed into Sydney Harbour

A CREDIT: “LIKE THE NATION IT SERVES, THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY IS STILL YOUNG.” WROTE PETER SMARK. “IT’S SURVIVED TO MOULD ITSELF INTO ONE OF THE FINEST, BEST-TRAINED NAVIES OF ITS SIZE IN THE WORLD.” THE PAINTING, AT TOP, SHOWS THE BATTLE-CRUISER HMAS AUSTRALIA LEADING THE AUSSIE FLEET INTO SYDNEY HARBOUR ON OCTOBER 4, 1913. SOURCE: 75 YEARS GUIDE, A TRIBUTE TO THE RAN, A SUN-HERALD FEATURE 1986.

The first cruiser is a memorable event to the advent of the Australian Fleet, said the Prime Minister, Sir Joseph Cook.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

The dreadnought battle cruiser HMAS Australia, the nation’s first flag ship, stole the show as it steamed into Sydney Harbour. - Ahead were a squadron of ships which comprised the newly-found Australian Fleet. For this historic occasion, the day was perfect.

It was October 4, 1913.

With HMAS Australia, came the light cruisers Melbourne, Sydney and Encounter – on loan from the Admiralty pending the completion of the Brisbane – and the torpedo destroyers Warrego, Parramatta and Yarra.

Thousands of people line the cliffs and along the shores of Port Jackson watching this fulfilment of many years of hopes, dreams and endeavour.

“Since Captain Cook’s arrival, no more memorable event has happened than the advent of the Australian Fleet,” the Prime Minister, Sir Joseph Cook said.

BUT IT WAS AGREED

In 1909, Britain became alarmed by the rapid growth of German naval power. The Admiralty requested Parliament to take exceptional measures to secure the safety of the Empire. An Imperial Conference met in London on July 28, 1909.

The Conference led to Australia and Canada forming independent navies, over which they exercised full control. But it was agreed that they should operate as an integral part of the Royal Navy in time of war.

In discussions, it was recommended that the whole system of Pacific Ocean defence should be remodelled by the creation of three Fleet Units: one on the Australian Station, one on the East Indies Station and the one on the China Station.

HMAS Australia was built at Clydebank and launched on October 25, 1911. She weight 18,800 tons and cost $3,700,000 and could attain a speed of 26 knots, and had convey off about 800 crewmembers. Her length was 590 feet overall, beam 80 feet and mean draught 26.5 feet.

The original armament were eight 12-inch, sixteen 4-inch guns, and two 21-inch torpedo tubes. Her armour belt was 6-inch amidships and 4-inch at the ends.

PRETTY SIGHT

The presence of HMAS Australia and her squadron put the nation’s mind at ease. In those times of mounting international tension and, especially when World War 1 was breathing down our necks, the Australia Fleet arrival was a pretty sight.

HMAS Australia escorted several expeditions which annexed German inlands and patrolled the Western Pacific. In early 1915 she went to European waters where she sank a German auxiliary – a German East African liner – and captured 100 prisoners, including many Negroes.

When she joined the British Fleet, HMAS Australia was honoured with the position of flagship of the second battle cruiser squadron. She never saw the thick of action. She missed taking part in the Battle of Jutland , off the mainland of Denmark, which took place on May 31, 1916, because at the time she was in dock for repairs of collision damage.

<< Adapted by Frank Morris from Historical Firsts, produced by Tucker & Company, Sydney.

Picture: One for all. HMAS Australia being towed into position when she moved into Sydney Harbour.


CLASSIC REPEATS! WHAY HAPPENED TO THE HMAS AUSTALIA?

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

HMAS Australia returned to Sydney in 1919. She was to await her fate from obsolescence. Under a world disarmament agreement she was sold for $6000 to be dismantled, and sunk off Sydney Heads in 1924.

This was a sentimental occasion which prompted many people to pile wreaths on Man-o’-War Steps, Farm Cove.

A naval party of 15 petty officers and stokers with long service in the battle cruiser accompanied her to her final place of sinking.

Patsy Adam-Smith, who wrote several books and articles on the ANZACS, said: “My mother told me of the end of HMAS Australia. It was April 12, 1924. We’d read about it in the papers. Under the terms of the Washington Treaty the nations were to disarm.”

I WAS PROUD

My father, Albert Smith told me, ‘Of course we were proud that HMAS Australia was flagship of the Second Battle-cruiser Squadron but I can’t recall any of us admitting it.’

As her mother, Adam-Smith continued: “This day they towed the HMAS Australia out through Sydney Heads and sank her. Your father didn’t say anything. I don’t know what he thought. We all thought it was awfully sad.

“Even though I hadn’t known him during the war I was proud of the HMAS Australia like everyone else. But he said nothing.”

<< Patsy Adam-Smith’s THE ANZACS, Thomas Nelson, 1978.

Picture: Ship goes down. In 1924, the battleship HMAS Australia was sunk off Sydney Heads.


TAKE THAT! A GERMAN BIPLANE IS SEEN NOSE-DIVING TOWARDS EARTH.

CLASSIC REPEATS! SOME AMAZING BUT TRUE STORIES

How did these astonishing photos come about?

FRANK MORRIS

The biplane, with flames pouring from under the fuselage, suddenly appeared to be out of control. The pilot, with a shocked look on his face, was tipped out and was seen spearing towards the earth.

This was a World War 1 photograph which showed a dogfight between a German and British aircraft; the British pilot appeared to let his plane twist and turn in the last phase of avoiding a stunning mid-air collision.

Were these incidents true or false?

According to the journalist who wrote the story, they were “audacious publishing hoaxes.” The journalist said “the pictures had been sold to a publisher for the equivalent of $20,000, a considerable sum in 1933.”

DEFINITIVELY DEBUNKED

The journalist said: “Gladys Cockburn-Lange claimed to be the widow of the British pilot who had taken the photographs.”

It turned out that in 1984 they were “definitively debunked” by the Smithsonian Institutes in Washington. Archivists there realised that Cockburn-Lange was none other than Betty Archer “wife of Wesley David Archer, a model maker in the film industry.”

The journalist said “he had painstakingly made models of all the aircraft and superimposed them on aerial backgrounds.”

<< Idea from the Sun-Herald newspaper, 2013.

Picture: Hoax or not? The British pilot does some fancy flying in an effort to avoid a remarkable air collision.


AT LAST! IBM ROLLS OUT ITS OWN PC

PART 5 -- COMPUTER MILESTONES: FROM DATA PROCESSING TO DIGITAL

Australia has entered the Information Age.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

The 1980s was reputed to be a decade of many “first” – and that’s what happened!

The first portable computer was released by Osborne in 1981. Adam Osborne, sold his computer book publishing company to McGraw Hill in 1979; and he hired Lee Felsenstein to design an inexpensive portable computer. The computer that resulted from this combination could fit under an airplane seat.

Also, IBM delivered it first PC.
…………………..
In 1982, the development of GSM began when the Conference of European Posts and Telegraphs (CEPT) formed a study group called Groupe Special Mobile (GSM). Their charter was to develop a pan-European public cellular system in the 900 MHz range.
…………………
The Internet became a reality when the ARPANET was split into Military and Civilian sections in 1983. Also, in 1983, the first laptop, the Tandy TRS-80 model 100, was rolled out in the US.
…………………...
In 1986, Australian Software Engineering Conference was founded by Dixon-Hughes, Leaney and Skinner.
……………………
The world’s first Software Quality Management Standard, AS3563, was developed in Australia and adopted by the IEEE in 1988.
…………………...
In 1989, Australia has entered the Information Age by taking the nation’s first Internet connection through MUNARRI at Melbourne University.

<< ACS Milestones, The Australian newspaper, January 6, 2001.

Picture: Publishing for a computer! Adams Osborne got out publishing.


A PAIR: THECROSSWORD AND ITS CREATOR

THE FIRST CROSSWORDS PUZZLE!

The Crossword is 100 years young! England’s Arthur Wynne, a journalist (above), created the world’s first crossword for the New York World on December 20, 1913.

It was called the Word-Cross Puzzle.

In 1922, Pearson’s Magazine, was the first publication in Britain to buy the crosswords. In 1930, The Times crossword made its debut. Cryptic crosswords made its appearance in 1926. – Frank Morris.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 23 June 17

OZ SPOT: Final! The lady from Pittwater in the pale yellow house

A DRINK: A STATUE OF DOROTHEA MACKELLAR IN GUNNEDAH.

Her shape was all wrong to be contemporary … and similar in style seen in photographs of people in the 30s.        

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

One night, with the doggies tucked in bed beside me, a hot water bottle at my feet, my silly woollen cap stuck on my head, I start to read Barbara’s document*. It is her research into Dorothea Mackellar’s life and the history of Tarrangaua.

It is enormously detailed … interesting only to locals, I suspect, or people who wander past and are curious about the pale yellow house on the side of the hill. Towards the end, on a page of its own, she writes this extraordinary tale:

About a year and a half after we moved in, I looked out the window from my study, which had once been Dorothea’s small and simple bedroom, and saw the strangest sight.

There was a woman, wearing a longish dark dress and a huge sun hat, walking quite sadly, it seemed to me, with her head down. Her steps were slow and a little tentative, as she headed towards the steep slope leading to the water’s edge.

FROM ANOTHER TIME

She disappeared for a moment, and then came back into view but I still could not see her face. And then she followed an old sandstone pathway, narrow and rarely used, to the waters of Frog Hollow. The little bay to the east.
I felt she had stepped out of another era … Her shape was all wrong to be contemporary. Her ankle length dress, in a fabric that also seemed from another time … after the first world war. And her hat was large, straw and similar to the style seen in photographs of people in the 30s.

It was mystery to me.

I REMEMBER THAT DAY

I felt silly and melodramatic. Because I knew from the first moment the figure appeared that she was a ghost. The ghost of Dorothea.

I am a pragmatist by inclination. But I know what I saw. I remember the day quite clearly because it was Melbourne Cup day … As every Australian knows it is the one day of the year when we all seem to be gripped by a mad, gambling frenzy.

Not a day any Australian would easily forget.

<< House at Salvation Creek by Susan Duncan; Penquin Book, 2012.

*Susan Duncan, author on this book; and Barbara, the owner of the house before Susan Duncan.

Picture: Undated photo. Australian poet Dorothea Mackellar as a young girl. Our country. A child’s drawing of Mackellar’s landscape.


I'M BUSY. SHERLOCK HOLMES.

THINK ABOUT IT? ELEMENTARY! THE INTERNATIONAL SHERLOCK HOLMES EXHIBITION

Sherlock Holmes is a ‘star’ in his own right! At the Powerhouse Museum Exhibition there’s a whole new world of captivating artefacts that have baffled any detective who tried to identify them. But not Sherlock Holmes!

“For the first time in Australia you’ll be transported back to Sherlock Holmes Victorian London, where you’ll crack the case,” said a spokesperson.

BE A DETECTIVE

A fine recreation of 221B Baker Street where Sherlock Holmes and his trusty side-kick Dr Watson lived was captured in the Sherlock! television drama. See the original manuscripts and the first editions, and visit one of the most accurate recreation of Baker St.

Come on you mini sleuths, get to the International Sherlock Holmes Exhibition and see what it would be like to a detective 127 years ago.

The International Sherlock Holmes Exhibition is from now until October 8, 2017.

Picture: I’m busy! Sherlock Holmes working on a tricky chemical problem that will help name the killer.


AWARD: MIDGET FARRELLY, POSTHUMOUSLY AWARDED THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA (AM) FOR HIS DEDICATION TO SURFING AND SURF LIFE SAVING, WINNING THE INAUGURAL 1964 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP AT MANLY.

QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY HONOURS: A TRUE NATIONAL HERO

Surfer Bernard Midget Farrelly was a ‘champ of the waves’. Midget ploughed ahead and won the 1964 inaugural world title at Manly, Sydney.

But this year, Farrelly, who died in August at the age of 71, has been granted posthumously a member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his significant services to surfing and the surf-life saving. His daughter, Johanna Isherwood, said the family “especially valued the honour.”

Isherwood said, “Dad lived his lived for the water and really didn’t think much about what people thought of him. That’s why this means so much. It is recognition of the pioneering role he played in the rise of surfing in Australian life.”

Midget’s victories brought a burst of national pride.

OVER 60 MILLION WATCH RACE

Lord James Blears, Surfabout Magazine Hawaiian writer, reported that Sydney’s top-seeded boardrider, l8 year old Midget Farrelly, won the Senior Men’s 1963 Makaha International surfing final in Hawaii.
“It was the first international win by an Australian,” said Blears.

The importance of the Championship was heightened by the American Broadcasting Commission’s superb coast-to-coast TV coverage which was watched world-wide by an estimated 60 million viewers.

.Farrelly won the 1964 world championship with 132 points from a possible 150. – Frank Morris.

Picture: We’re the champs! Midget chats to Phyllis O’Donnell, 1964 World Championship holder, just after the contest.

MISS MARILYN: CHILDREN’S TV PRESENTER WITH THE SUPER FLYING FUN SHOW.

SMALL SCREEN SUCCESS:  NUMBER 1. SUPER FLYING FUN SHOW … EVEN MONTY WEDD MADE A MARK!

FRANK MORRIS

One weekday morning in the 70s the Super Flying Fun Show’s Miss Marilyn was giving away a host of prizes to the winner of a contest. After which she turned to the camera and said, “Well, we have a welcome surprise for this morning. It’s Monty Wedd a well-known artist who is to going you show how to draw.”

As Monty’s face turned to the camera, he was grinning like a Cheshire cat.

He was one a dozen guest stars they had lined-up for the kids. Monty had 10 to 15 mins to draw; then they were invaded by Rod and Emu. Monty knew his time was up. “Until next week. See you then.” Monty would fade into blackness.

Life began for the SFFS on Channel Nine as a children’s morning program in 1970; it ran for nine years.

Writes Harry Hollinsworth in the SMH Summer Guide: “I’m pretty sure I watching from the start as my earliest memories … were, I recall, Clotty and Emu. Clotty (Rod Hull) was replaced in 1971. He returned to Britain to reprise the janitor/emu partnership with some success.”

AS IF WAS YESTERDAY

He was replaced by Marty and Emu.

Apart from Rod/Marty and the Emu to get the early Super Flying Show off the ground, there was also Smoky Dawson, Monty Wedd and Paddle Pop Lion, the charming Miss Marilyn (Mayo) – and loads of cartoons.

Marty’s son used to go to the same school as Hollinsworth. Marty did a number of Marty and Emu presentation “days and birthdays.”

Writes Hollinsworth: “In my teenage years I saw Marilyn in a commercial for the series Holiday Island cast as ‘Dusty, everyone’s favourite barmaid.’ I couldn’t bear to watch. She had appearances in Riptide  (Customer) and Spyforce (Juliet). I wasn’t allowed to watch either show as it was thought they would give me nightmares.”

I remember SFFS as if it was only yesterday!

Next: TV’s Johnny Young and Young Talent Time. The show ran from 1971 to 1988.

Picture: Miss Mayo. Morning show host, Marilyn Mayo, being photographed by TV Week in 1976.


POSTCARD FROM NEW ZEALAND: FROM A DAUGHTER WITH LOVE!

NICOLA MORRIS

I decided to take a coach trip to New Zealand. I made a booking with Grand Pacific Tours and settled on an Ultimate Small Group Tour. It’s been hailed as their “business class on wheels” tour. I was ready to go.

Everything is “premium” level, I might add.

The new coach is a pleasure to ride in. Everything you want is provided. It is the premium way to travel. 

I came two days earlier so I can go to the theatre in Auckland. I – it was not part of the Ultimate Tour.

Tuesday May 9, 2017: Auckland was fantastic very Melbourne-like. Except the weather, it was fantastic! The theatre on Saturday night was world-class. I went by ferry to Waiheke yesterday to a ‘bean-bag’ view from Cable Bay vineyard. Literally, the hilltop from the vineyard was scattered with bean-bags where you sit back and relax with a glass of wine and enjoy the water views. Unreal!

Now, on with the Ultimate Tour.

Headed to Christchurch today.  Christchurch is go green and the St George (hotel) was very welcoming. Arrived to a view of falling leaves outside my room and, of course, a bottle of wine from management – note the label! It’s from my sister.

Took the tram ride around town. Construction in Christchurch is six years on; lots of buildings due to be completed in August/September.

KNOCK ON THE DOOR

Hang on, there is a knock at the door. It’s turn down service – my first George bear and some chocolates and macaroons – again, unreal!

It’s cold tonight, so I’m having a night in. Will keep you posted?

Friday, May 12, 2017: Got to go up in the helicopter this morning. Will do the canyon trip tomorrow. Just been booked into the Royal Suite.

Saturday, May 13, 2017: Fox Glacier – a view from the top. The Ultimate coach is first class comfort and the helicopter ride is the ultimate view! The bad weather passed the previous day. We were awaken to a beautiful morning. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk on pure white snow – it was glorious.

Sunday, May 24, 2017: Skippers Canyon, Queenstown – a view from the edge! There’s more to Queenstown than skiing and jet boating – and this is it. The best view of Queenstown is winding your way along the narrow Gorge Road of Skipper’s Canyon in a 4WD. It’s scary at first, then just breathtaking. Believe me, you have seen the best views.

Monday, May 25, 2017: There’s other things to do and see. Had a great day, Milford Sound was superb.

Thursday, May 28, 2017: At 6.22 am, this is the view from the balcony – Mt Cook. It’s unlikely to be visible all day, but spectacular nevertheless. – Adapted by Frank Morris.

Picture: The Sisters, said the wine label. Note the label. My sister comes good! The best. 4WD – scary but then breathtaking.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 16 June 17

INSIDE NEWSPAPERS: Final! Rocky Mountaineer Mile Post … “a feat of construction”

 

HERE WE GO! TODAY’S VERSION – THE ROCKY MOUNTAINEER TRAIN CROSSING THE OTTERTAIL CREEK.

Three safety tracks were also built to help divert out-of-control trains.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Throughout the construction process, CP Rail was encountering cash shortages. Though William Van Horne had great confidence in the company’s success, he and Stephen had to turn to the government for funds.

A bill was eventually passed authorising a loan of $22.5 million to CP Rail with the understanding that the construction would be completed in 1886. In the spring of 1884, the work continued along the canyon walls of the Kicking Horse River.

At the “Big Hill,” above Field, BC, special permission was granted to build the line down the steep grade of 4.5 percent, double the maximum grade allowed elsewhere. Three safety tracks were also built to help divert out-of-control trains.

By the end of 1884, the Ross group had reached, what is today, Golden.
In 1885, CP Rail was again faced with financial problems, having spent the $22.5 million; and with minimal cash, construction crews were not being paid and began to strike. By March, 1885, construction had stopped.

CONSTANT RAINS, WASHOUT

Fearing their dreams would not be realised, CP Rail once more approached the government for funding. After much political bantering, CP Rail was finally given more financial assistance, and the crews began to work again.

The next major obstacle ... to face was putting the line through Rogers Pass. Heavy snowfalls, of almost 15.25m/50 feet per year, necessitated the building of numerous snow sheds. By 1885, in late October, the line had reached Revelstoke, after fighting constant rains and washouts.

Andrew Onderdonk, the US contractor, was working under government contract to build this section and, since his equipment was already on site, CP Rail contracted him to build the section from Savona to Eagle Pass.

It took the Ross group another five weeks to reach Onderdonk’s railhead. The Last Spike was driven into ground on November 7, 1885. The construction of Canada’s first transcontinental railway was completed. It was finished almost six years ahead of its original schedule.

It was a feat of construction which amazed the world.

<< Rocky Mountaineer Mile Post.

Pictures: Contractor Andrew Onderdonk who, with his thousands of men, took on the dangerous Hell’s Gate in 1882. To hell and back: The steep walls of the infamous Hell’s Gate Canyon on the Fraser River.


OPEN SESAME: STAN THOMAKOS IS IN HIS ELEMENT BEHIND THE WHEEL OF HIS SPRITELY TORANA XU1, A SELF-MADE EQUIVALENT OF THE SAME CAR WHICH WON THE 1979 TOURING MOTOR RACE CHAMPIONSHIP AT BATHURST. THE CO-DRIVER WAS BOB MORRIS. THAT’S MORRIS’ AUTOGRAPH BELOW THE CAR. STAN KNOWS HIS TORANA INSIDE AND OUT. HE OWNS PD’S CAFÉ AT MORTDALE, SYDNEY.

REMEMBER WHEN! TORANA TURNED 50 … THE SEVENTIES MADE ITS TYRES SIZZLE!

FRANK MORRIS

If Torana was still being built today, it would have been 50 years young. The production of the Torana went from 1967 till 1979, the last year it raced. Its name came from the Aboriginal word “to fly”. And that’s exactly what it did at Bathurst in the hands of Peter Brock and company.

Twenty-seven years after he was born, Peter Brock would team up with a Holden six-cylinder Torana XU1 to start the winning partnership.

“It would rewrite the motorsport record books and turn one into a legend and other into a national institution,” writes Wayne Webster, motoring editor of the Daily Telegraph (Sydney) and Sunday Telegraph. “The only problem is picking which one is which.”

The career of Peter Brock and the other homegrown Aussie icon are “almost inseparable”.

THE HEARTS OF WOMEN

Webster: “No other person is as identifiable with the Holden brand as Brock … they continue to be linked through a marketing umbilical cord probably stronger now … than at any time in the past. Holden made Brock a household name.

He helped the company to put the Holden in driveways.

“Brock’s Bathurst triumphs, which fell one short of the “Perfect 10”, that the public longed for and the media dreamt of, all came courtesy of Holden products. For marketing men Brock was a gift from heaven; a good-looking, articulate racer with an appeal that won the minds of male buyers and the hearts of women.

“His triumphs at Mount Panorama made him a legend and he dragged Holden products along with him.”
From 1972-1979 he won Bathurst victories four times in a Torana XU1, L34 and A9X twice.

<< Peter the Great, Holden 50th anniversary feature, by Wayne Webster, The Weekend Australian, November 14-15, 1998.

Pictures: Torana is tops: Peter Brock -- winning the Bathurst 1000 in 1978. XU1 Secrets – Turning Torana into a champion. Holden enters the small car market with a converted Vauxhall. Now, it has become one of the most versatile motor sports cars Australia has seen.


SHERLOCK AND FRIENDS -- THE SERIES STARTS MID AUGUST AND RUNS MONTHY TILL OCTOBER. THE OPENING CHAPTERS WILL RUN TOGETHER. AND DON’T FORGET THE SHERLOCK EXHIBITION. IT STARTS AT THE POWERHOUSE MUSEUM, SYDNEY, ON JUNE 5 … NEXT MONTH: 75 YEARS AGO 3 MIDGET SUBS ATTACKED SYDNEY HARBOUR. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? … US WESTERN STORY – PRINCES OF THE FOURTH ESTATE. THE FIRST OF THE SERIES STARTS JULY.


LAUGHING MATTER! WHY WOULD WE BREAK UP? HE MAKES ME LAUGH!

CLASSIC REPEAT! LAUGHING MATTER, PART 1. WHY IT’S PRECRIBED AS THE BEST MEDICINE

It is a light-hearted approach to living longer.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Lighten up! Watch a funny movie with a few friends? Or join a “laughing club” where people meet for a specific purpose for the time of their life. Or hang out with fun, playful people who laugh easily.

You find this will put you in a more positive frame of mind. Or, ask people to describe what they find funny; maybe they will ask you the same.

What you need is a big belly laugh. You cringe as the person you’re with tells another terrible joke. Maybe, if you laugh a little you’ll find that it helps in the long run.

“From generating an increase in the supply of oxygen to our body (an aerobic activity),” says Kayte Nunn, in her article, The Best Medicine, “laughter definitely packs a beneficial health punch.” Nunn goes on to suggest that when “we let out a great chuckle or even just a quiet giggle, we use up to 50 facial muscles.”

Nunn continued: According to studies, this triggers the release of feel-good hormones, oxytocin and melatonin … which are both used in antidepressants.

Dr Tim Sharp, founder of The Happiness Institute, said, “This is almost certainly a physiological benefit. When we laugh, we release hormones and there are certain neurotransmitters in our brain that are mood-enhancing.

“This happens when you laugh naturally and even if you ‘fake it’; you can still build up the physiological response  and therefore get the same benefits.”

The trick is that “when we laugh,” said Dr Sharp, “we use various muscles and activate different parts of our body, therefore this is a good form of physical activity.”  Finding something to laugh at regularly you might even stave off having a heart attack.

A study conducted in 2000 by cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Centre found that people with heart disease were 40 per cent less likely to laugh … compared to people without heart disease.

The study concluded that people with heart disease generally laugh less and display more anger and hostility in everyday life situations.

<< Adapted from Kayte Nunn’s The Best Medicine from Wellplan Magazine.

Pictures: Smile, laugh – double take. Why don’t you have a big, big laugh? It’s the best medicine you’ll ever get!


HARD FOUGHT: WE EVEN MADE THE PAPERS OVERSEAS. THIS PAPER IS FROM AMERICA. “THREE MIDGET SUBS RAID SYDNEY; ALL BELIEVED SUNK,” THE PAPER SAID. TWO WERE LOCATED IN THE HARBOUR; THE THIRD ONE ESCAPED THE CORDON OF GUNFIRE AND WAS FOUND OFF DEE WHY, A SYDNEY BEACH, IN 2006.

THINK ABOUT IT! SCRIBE WITNESSED THE ATTACK ON SYDNEY HARBOUR BY THREE MIDGET SUBS

Mr Kevin Smith, of West Pennant Hills, Sydney, wrote a piece for Column 8 on the three midget Japanese subs that attacked Sydney Harbour on March 31, 1942 -- 75 years ago. Column 8 says:

“Kevin was a teenager and witnessed the event on the harbour from his parents’ home at Watsons Bay. He thinks there would be only a few people still alive who saw the events as he did.”

21 SAILORS WERE KILLED

‘From the front of our house,’ said Kevin. ‘My parents and older brother and sister saw the searchlights, we heard the gunfire and the sound of depth charges exploding. Twenty-one sailors were killed by an exploding torpedo on Garden Island.

‘The next morning, we saw one sub caught in the boom net and another sunken one being guarded by naval vessels in Taylor Bay. The third escaped and was found off Dee Why in 2006.’ Thanks, Kevin.

<< Column 8, Sydney Morning Herald, May 31, 2017.

COMING: Three midget Japanese subs attacked Sydney Harbour on March 31, l942. Next month!
Picture: People stared in amazement. Crowds watch one of the midget subs being hauled safely to land.


DOG AND COMPANY: WHEN CHECKERS PASSED AWAY, NEARLY EVERY MEDIA COMPANY ON THE GLOBE WANTED PART OF THE ACTION!

CLASSIC REPEAT! THE CHECKERS SPEECH – RICHARD NIXON TALKS ABOUT HIS DOG

In 1952, Richard Nixon’s famous international talk-fest, the Checkers Speech, broadcast over radio, television – and the press, too – centered on a dog and two children. If you don’t remember, here it is.

RICHARD M. NIXON

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

One other thing I probably should tell you, because if I don’t they’ll probably be saying that this is about me too.

We did get something, a gift, after the election.

A man down in Texas had heard Pat (his wife) on radio mention … that our two youngsters would like to have a dog. And, believe it or not, the day before we left on this campaign trip we got a message from Union Station in Baltimore saying they had a package for us.

We went down to get it. You know what it was? It was a little cocker spaniel dog in a crate and he sent it all the way from Texas. It was black and spotted. And our little girl, Tricia, the six-year old, named it Checkers.

And you know, the kids loved that dog. And I want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we gonna keep it.

[Frank Morris writes: Checkers was in the heart of every American from that day in 1952. The dog was photographed everywhere it went. Magazines like TIME and Newsweek often featured Checkers – as did the television and the dailies. When Checkers died in 1964, every news media covered the event. Adapted from The Literary Dog published by Push Pin Press, New York.]

<< The Literary Dog, published by Push Pin Press, New York.


THE CAT’S WHISKERS! A NOTE FROM A VERY SPECIAL FELINE

 “MR MORRIS – THANKS YOU FOR MY STORY. SPIRIT THE CAT.”

Well, this was a surprise! Spirit the Cat and the Tasmanian Tiger have heaps of friends judging by the story I wrote last week. One reader said I should run a series like last weeks of Spirit and Tiger getting up to mischief -- the kids will love it. It’s worth thinking about.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 09 June 17

CLASSIC REPEATS! Michael Pate, Aussie actor, had an international role

VICTORY! HERE’S JOHN WAYNE ON THE DECK AND VITTORIA (MICHAEL PATE, RIGHT) STANDING OVER HIM. IT EASY TO SEE WHO HAS THE UPPER HAND!

He played everything from the Sons of Matthew to the Indian chief Vittoria in the movie Hondo.

FRANK MORRIS

Questions to Michael Pate by Karen Nixon.

Michael Pate started his professional career writing and broadcasting for the ABC and commercial radio in 1938.  From 1946, after his return from World War II, he starred in radio plays and serials; he also got a call to do major films and these include Forty Thousand Horsemen, Sons of Matthew and Bitter Springs.

Later, in the 50s, Pate went to Hollywood to do Bonaventure (released as Thunder on the Hill) and over 50 feature films and more than 300 TV shows as guest-star.

In 1970, he starred in Matlock Police and Power without Glory; and produced the films, the Mango Tree and Colleen McCullough’s Tim, which he adapted and directed, winning the Australia Writers Guild award for the Best screenplay.

From 1982 he starred in the film The Return of Captain Invincible and two plays, one with his son Christopher; and the other, The Wild Duck, featuring Liv Ullman.

WORKING TIL THE END

Pate was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1990.

Actor, writer and director, Michael Pate had died September 1, 2008.  He was 88.

He was working on a film script before he died and it was likely his son would finish off his father’s work.

You have done some amazing work, which would you say was most memorable?

In radio it would be The Eagle has Two Heads, in theatre, I would say Dark of the Moon and in film Sons of Matthew.  As for the best parts, the best part was definitely the role of Vittoria, the Indian, in the movie Hondo.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?

In acting I was influenced by Spencer Tracy and by Paul Newman’s work.  Cagney was very good but overall I found Olivier with a meticulous approach to his craft my greatest inspiration.

You have had a challenging and exciting life, do you have any regrets?

No, I haven’t regrets about my professional life.  I started fairly early doing things of an amateur sense at school and then got my start professionally with a break during the war, but that time wasn’t wasted when you are defending your country.

The only thing I would say is a shame, is that older people are ignored not adored.  The problem is that there aren’t many acting roles for older folk and I honestly feel that the older actors could be utilised to master classes in our craft.

DOCUMENTARY NARRATION

I think that it would be wonderful to be able to share the great experiences and skills.  That way they are not lost and the community and industry could all benefit.  That would be my only regret, a personal regret only.

What made you decide to live here on the Central Coast?

In the later stages of my career, I was starting to do more narration and documentary roles.  We were living in Bellevue Hill and thought we could get an apartment in the city from the sale of Bellevue Hill, even a small place on the Central Coast – and I'd just live between the two places.

My wife and I both enjoy fishing and we both like the ocean.  Basically I’ve always visited the Central Coast, even as a boy I would visit Woy Woy to fish and prawn with my uncle.

During the 1920s with my father we all used to come to the coast.  We would pitch a tent and stay for the weekend, even at The Entrance.

Now since settling here and being basically retired I still get offers of work but tell my agent that if they want me they can come up here to me, as I hate the city and absolutely adore living here.  I have done more writing up here than anywhere else over the last ten years, as it is so peaceful and quiet.

<< Michael Pate Interview on intranet.

Pictures. Ready for anything. Playing the role of an officious cowboy. In full cry. In a role that has meat on all sides.


HAIL TO THE CHAMP: BRUCE FARTHING WILL NOT ONLY BE A CHAMP, BUT A TRUE CHAMPION WE WELL.

CLASSIC REPEATS: THE CHAMPS! BRUCE COMES UP A TRUE CHAMP

FRANK MORRIS

Once a champ, always a champ. Isn’t that how the adage goes? When it comes to Bruce Farthing it doesn’t matter. For Bruce Farthing will always be a champ.

If you’re not a fight fan you’ll probably be thinking “who is Bruce Farthing?”

Apart from being a good bloke he’s also the fighting brains behind some of Australia’s Olympic hopefuls. Just  recently, in 1983, he took a team to Rome and did moderately well. He returned from Taiwan and Bangkok with a bagful of gold medals.

Prime Minister Bob Hawke was moved to say that these major contests wins “have brought Australia in from the wilderness in yet another area.”

There’s not a fight fan alive who doesn’t recall Bruce Farthing as he as back in the halcyon days of the fight game. That was nearly 30 years ago. And, like all the champs before and after him, he is still remembered.

In 1950, he won the NSW amateur middleweight championship. The following year, he was picked to go to Christchurch with the Australian team for the Empire Games. But a hand injury put paid to that.

Then Bruce turned professional; and he mixed leather with some of the best belters in the business. At one stage it was mooted that he would be given a crack at the veteran Archie Moore for a world title fight. Yes – Bruce Farthing was that good.

In his “overnight” rise to fame he disposed of ex-Australian middleweight champ Carlo Marcini, Alf Webb and Chappie Godfrey. He also made a clean sweep of the New Zealand and South Pacific light heavyweight division.

He decked the “Tongan Terror” Johnny Halafihi and picked up almost $2000 for his trouble.

Yes, Bruce Farthing is alive and well. And he still a champ. – Frank Morris.

<< I wrote this syndicated article in 1984. Bruce Farthing was born in 1931. He passed away in 2014 aged 83.

Pictures: When two’s a crowd. Carlo Marchini met his match in Farthing.


CLASSIC REPEATS: MEMORY & EPILEPSY CAN HAVE AN IMPACT ON A PERSON’S LIFE

The racing fraternity had been stunned since champion jockey Nathan Berry passed away from Norse syndrome, an acute form of epilepsy.

FRANK MORRIS

Dr Rubina Alpitsis, Senior Neuropsychologist, in Melbourne, said some people with epilepsy will “experience changes to memory, thinking, behaviour and personality.” Dr Alpitsis said “epilepsy can disrupt the normal activity of the brain – a complex and sophisticated organ.”

She said “different abilities can affected, depending on the type of seizure a person has and where it occurs in the brain.”

“But the most common complaints concern the effect of epilepsy on memory and understanding these effects can help us identify strategies for remembering.”

What do we look for?

The ability to “solve complex problems” occurs in the front part of the brain, or the frontal lobe. “While the area that impacts memory – our ability to learn, consolidate and store new information – is in the middle, or medial temporal lobe.”

STRENGTH THROUGH SHARING: What is it like living with epilepsy?

Alpitsis said that changes in memory and thinking can occur before, during or after seizures and can be temporary or long term. “A number of additional factors can contribute to changes. You have your medications but also frustration, depression or anxiety.”

Anne and Graeme Woods support each other. They even went to an Epilepsy Action forum together and both said it was a pleasant feeling. “It was just good to unload your feelings, how to cope with your epilepsy,” says Anne.

As a child, Anne began having absence seizures but wasn’t diagnosed with epilepsy until her 20s. “I used to get into trouble at school for daydreaming.”

I DON'T DWELL ON MY CONDITION

Now in her early 40s, Anne, had three tonic clonic seizures in her sleep. Graeme, a horticulturalist with the local council, said “we’re both very supportive.” For Graeme, those times have been all too frequent.

He had his first tonic clonic seizures hit when he got encephalitis as a result of measles at age four. Being assaulted with complex partial seizures like that had him bundled into a police paddy wagon on suspicion of drug and alcohol intoxication.

Then, in 1997, five years after temporal lobectomy surgery successfully treated his epilepsy, a fever contacted from mosquito bites, led to his nocturnal seizures. Despite all this, Graeme continues to focus on a positive outlook on life. “I don’t dwell on my condition.”

The couple donate support services for people with epilepsy. “The more the public are aware, the more it breaks down the stigma,” says Anne.

<< From Epilepsy 360 magazine.

Pictures: Deadly. Not many people know the epilepsy part of the disease can be fatal.


THINK ABOUT IT! SPIRIT THE CAT AND A TASMANIAN TIGER GO HUNTING TOGETHER

DAILY DOUBLE: ONE GROWLS AND THE OTHER ONE STARES!

FRANK MORRIS                                                                                                        

The Gold Coast has a strange looking couple! And one of them in Spirit the Cat. My son, Antony, bought an iron sculpture of a Tasmania Tiger specifically for a spot in his garden. 

He looked around the mini-backyard, which has the focal point of a lights-all-a blazing swimming pool, and which reaches down to a graphic altar scene at the end of the pool -- an attractive Chinese lady truncated on a bed of rock. Pretty good, ah!

HE POISED TO POUNCE

He came on one spot he thought looked terrific! He plonked the Tasmanian Tiger down. He did a-mucking and a-raking and eventually the Tiger look poised to pounce. But who should be watching all the palaver but Spirit the Cat. Spirit decided to creep beside him. He didn’t move. He moved to the side of him. He didn’t move.                                                                                                                

So Spirit the Cat and Tasmanian Tiger go hunting all the time, now! And there’s not a growl from either of them. Never.

Frank Morris comments: Scientists say the Thylacine – or the Tasmanian Tiger – vanished in Tasmania in 1936. It roamed the Australian mainland for about 2000 years.

Pictures: Vanished. It was a familiar sight on the Australian mainland for 2000 years, then disappeared in 1936.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 02 June 17

THE GREAT WAR: Motoring in Britain during 1917, or was it light up time at 1918 Christmas

THE AD TALKS: THE VAUXHALL ONE-PAGE AD ON THE FLANDERS FRONT SHOWS THE #12 SERIES OF VAUXHALL IN HAND-DRAWN PICTURES BY A SOLDIER ARTIST IN THE FIELD DEMONSTRATING THE 25hp MODEL. “THE FINEST CAR  ON ACTIVE SERVICE, SAID THE ADVERTISEMENT.

Stop throwing in the scrap heap!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

UK magazine The Motor, was hopeful for peace and the end of the war by Christmas 1918, it said in December 25, 1917. Surprisingly, there was a lot a full-page advertising for new cars.

Those from Belsize, Napier, Vauxhall, Sizaire-Berwick, Crossley, Arrol-Johnson, Autocrat, Austin, Vauxhall Phoenix, Swift, Cole and Ford were the leading bunch. Trucks and tractors were also advertised, but if you checked the small print it read like the 1916 advertising.

Such as “Enter your name on a post-war waiting list’ or “Actively engaged on government service” or ‘Write for waiting list particulars’ etc, etc, the list goes on.

The parts industry was promoting tyres, wheels, spark plugs, brake linings and springs; and the nation was in full production, keeping the ageing car fleet on the road. With the shortage of fuel, coal-based town gas was promoted with specially designed carburettors, vaporisers and other products to help make the use of gas and kerosene more palatable to vehicles of the day.

PARIS FOR LUNCH

The coal gas containers were huge balloon bags fitted to the rooftops racks that sank into a box as the gas was used up. This was idea for delivery vans as they had a good platform base.

One story that took our interest was a 10 year prediction for the year1927. It was told in the Jules Verne style of writing where the author described an aerocar, a conversion that took only minutes; one that was to leave England, cross the Channel, land on a French highway and driving into Paris for lunch.

Also another 1927 story told of a dream to fly from London to California, an air-express weekly service of 40 hours travel time.

Light up time in London at Christmas 1917 was 4.29pm, half-an-hour after sunset.

Also, in the news was a German report of the production of synthetic rubber. Another report announced new clutch and brake lining made of asbestos.

As always, there was a large classified section at the rear of journal in which it stated only 3 Rolls-Royces were for sale, 3 Mercedes, l3 Scripps-Booths, 7 Buicks, 11 Fords, 2 Delages and 9 Darracqs. It was stated that many cars had not been used in the past two years.

<< Motoring in Britain during WWI 1917; Restored Cars, Jan-Feb, 2017.

Pictures:  Day out. A British Napier …rugged. Always there. Where ever there was a war you’d find Ford.


IRON PILOT: CHARLES NUNGESSER GETS READY FOR ANOTHER MISSION. A RENOUNED ACE, NUNGESSER WAS HONOURED WITH 9 AWARDS.

THE GREAT WAR: FIGHTING WAS FURIOUS … HE DISAPPEARED IN 1927

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Like Eddie Rickenbacker, there was none better the Charles Nungesser. Like Richerbacker, he was a race-car driver turner fighter pilot. He raced in South America and it was on that continent that he learned to fly.

He joined the French army in 1914 and was transferred to the French Flying Service the following year. He started out as a reconnaissance pilot, but an armed and aggressive one. In November 1915, he was transferred to a fighter squadron.

By the war’s end he had scored 45 victories, which put him third on the list of French pilots.

He flew Nieuport planes and struck terror in the hearts of his enemies by painting skull-and-crossbones designs on his aircraft. He was wounded many times during the war, both by gunfire and crashes.

DUEL CHALLENGE

One crash in 1916 broke his two legs, but he was back in the cockpit two months later.

Also, in l916, a message was dropped on Nungesser’s aerodrome challenging him to a duel; but when he flew to the assigned place at the assigned time he was ambushed by six German planes. Furious, he shot down two of the German planes, causing the other four to flee.

By August 1917, he was so banged up and exhausted that he sometimes had to be carried to his plane so he could fly his next mission.

Nungesser disappeared in 1927 while attempting a flight from France to the United States.

<< Guide to Warplanes; by Lanson and Benson; 2004; Alpha Book, New York, USA.

Picture. Stand to attention. Lieutenant Charles Nungesser.


ONE NIGHT: IN SEPTEMBER 1918, ON THE MEUSE-ARGONNE FRONT, CAPTAIN HARRY TRUMAN INCHED FORWARD. SCANNING THE GERMAN LINES WITH FIELD GLASSES, HE SAW THE GERMAN FORCES MOVING AROUND THE AMERICAN FLANKS FOR A SURPRISE ATTACK. COMING: CAPTAIN HARRY TRUMAN SAVES THE DAY.

THE GREAT WAR: FINAL! CAPTAIN HARRY TRUMAN OF BATTERY D – THE MOST ENTHUSIASTIC PATRIOT OF ALL!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

It was September 6 before the 129th CO men saw any action. They had been assigned to a faIrly quiet sector in the Vosges Mountains of Alsace. On this night there occurred what became known to Dizzy D as “The Battle of Who Run”.

The “battle” began with a 500-round barrage fired at the German lines by Battery D. For a while after the barrage, things were quiet; then, suddenly, the Germans retaliated in kind. With the first few shells to land near Battery D, which had never been under fire before, somebody panicked and, suddenly, almost every member of the unit was racing for his life.

Captain Truman tried to rally his men, but to no avail.

Then, livid with anger, Harry decided on one final attempt at turning the tide. Recalling the language of the gandy dancers on the railroad back in Missouri, Captain Truman began to curse. As his men streamed toward the rear, he stood amid the bursting German shells and screamed every blistering oath at them that he had ever heard.

The regimental chaplain, Father Tiernan, said Harry turned the air blue. “It took the skin of the ears of those boys,” he recalled; later with a grin. “And it turned those boys right around.”

ADMIRATION FOR HARRY

The sight of their mild-mannered CO exploding into a tornado of unparalleled fury and wrath caused the men to stop and stare in wonderment. Then the basic courage of the brawling, fighting Irish overcame their first flashes of panic.

If Captain Truman could do it, so could they. The men returned. At Harry’s commands, they hitched up the guns and withdrew in orderly fashion some few hundred yards to safety.

After “Who Run”, the men of Dizzy D had even greater admiration for their usually quiet-spoken CO. Certainly, no one there was anxious to stir Captain Truman to the volcanic fury they had witnessed in their first action.

Here was a real man. One who would wade in mud and put his shoulder to a caisson wheel along with the rest of them; one who demanded unquestioning obedience to orders but who had personal concern for each of his men.

GERMANS’ RETREATING

This was “Captain Harry.”

Shortly after midnight on September 26, l918, the last great offensive of the war `began on the Meuse-Argonne front and Battery D and the 129th CO men covered themselves with glory.

For mile after muddy mile the troops followed the retreating Germans. It was a wearying, back-breaking grind of unhitching guns, firing several hundred rounds, hitching up, slogging through mud and mire to repeat the same bloody-minded exercise again.

On and on the offensive went, without letup, without respite, through October and into November. Then on November 11, found the 129th CO troops near the gutted city of Verdun. At five o’clock that morning, word was passed that a cease-fire would become effective at eleven.

War was over.

<< People of Destiny: A humanities series; Harry S. Truman. McGraw-Hill Book Company, USA.

Pictures: Ready and able. Harry Truman gets ready for the Presidency of the Unites States after the death of President Roosevelt. Seen a lot. Harry Truman – The end of the Second World War, the fall of the Atom Bomb on Japan and the Berlin Airlift.


MATE, WE’VE GOT A WAR GOING ON HERE NOW …

MORE NEWSPAPERS: STRIKE ME LUCKY, HOW TIME FLIES! A NEWS-VENDOR, CIRCA 1926, IS FULL OF NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES OF ALL DESCRIPTIONS AND KIDS’ COMICS.

What happened to our newspapers and magazines? There’s only one person who knew what took place with our papers and magazines during and after the Great War – it was historian H.M. Green.

Green’s two volumes History of Australian Literature open on the frenetic world of newspapers and the effects or otherwise of the brand of “New Journalism”.

When it was introduced, it changed the heart and soul of some of the press. Whereas those newspapers who didn’t bother to usher in the new practice soon found themselves at war, with the ‘news editors’ on their papers.

“The New Journalism brought about a revolution in the newspaper world, changing its outlook, form and method,” said Green. But in Australia, the full effects “of the revolution” were not felt until a generation later than in the United States and Britain … even then they were felt “only gradually”.

1914-0N THERE WAS GROWTH

“This was marked by the reflection of important social and political events: it opened with a war and a struggle for internal unity, and it ended with a world conflict.

“So far as actual numbers were concerned, the growth of the newspaper was naturally less … but in the transition from babyhood to childhood … there was considerable growth,” Green.

There was decline in numbers during the First World War.

“Except with the metropolitan dailies and with weeklies, almost all of which were published in the capital cities,” said Green.

<< H.M. Green’s History of Australian Literature published in 1960s; Frank Morris.

Coming: The late 1920s! Published in July.

Pictures: Papers, Papers! Some newspapers who didn’t bother to usher in the service of ‘New Journalism’ were beaten to the punch.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 26 May 17

BOOK COLLECTION: Stan Smith – congratulations, it was great to catch up with you again

NEW FRIEND: AT RAFFLES HOTEL, STAN SMITH AND I SPENT SERVERAL HOURS TALKING ABOUT THE ODDITIES OF LIFE. THEN THE CONVERSATION SWITCHED TO THE AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPERS AND THE YOUNG RUPERT MURDOCH.

Former journalist stayed “as a buyer and seller” and made a fortune!

FRANK MORRIS

When I was in Singapore in the mid-1960s, I had the memorable experience of being part of a Malaysian wedding ceremony. It makes an interesting conversation piece to this day! The ceremony was held in the paddock-sized courtyard of a rambling and palatial terraced home, with the lawns and heavily treed gardens slopping down to the South China Sea.

This magnificent property, not far from Changi Prison, was owned by the wealthy Australian expatriate businessman Stan Smith. When I arrived at his home on the day of the wedding, Smith and I had known each other for twenty-four hours!

We had met the previous day in one of the bars at Raffles Hotel; we talked for hours, into the late night, about politics, newspapers, the young Rupert Murdoch and so on.

He was well informed, lucid and had a clipped George Sanders-like accent. He was the archetypal smooth operator. Not knowing at the time that he possessed one of the great collections of antiquarian bird and flower books, the subject of books never came up in conversation.

WORK FOR ‘THE SUN’

When we decided to call it a night Smith handed me his card, with a verbal invitation to be not only his special guest at the wedding, but to ‘play’ a small role in the proceedings. In retrospect, this was a bit of a novelty.

There were about 120 guests, but I was the only Australian.

Smith was a former journalist. Born in Brisbane, he hit the road as a lad of sixteen and worked on the Sydney Sun in the 1920s. As the story goes he headed for Asia where he made his fortune from Japan’s post-war reconstruction boom.

Smith, as I recall, did allude to this fact in a roundabout way. He could have been in the arms business for all I knew. But I genuinely liked the guy; he was likable; everyone seemed to like him; he made friends easily.

“A SUPERB” COLLECTION

When a taxi was organised to take me back to my hotel that night we agreed to keep in touch; but that is as far as it went. I sent him two letters but he did not respond. Exit Stan Smith. That is, until I read Peter Fish’s Appreciation column in The Sydney Morning Herald in October 1998.

Smith, who was in his late fifties when I met him, died two years later, in 1968. He did have a passion for books, after all, expensive tomes at that; he had built up “a superb” library of early volumes on birds and flowers all illustrated with colour plates.

These are, writes Fish, “very pricey collectibles”.

<< Australian Book Collector, February 1999; Editor by Ross Burnet, Uralla, NSW. Email: burnet@ozbook.com

MAY: Final! An Aussie journo rare book collection goes under the hammer.

Pictures: Fast talker: Stan Smith chatted about everything. He wanted to the politicians, newspapers and young Rupert Murdoch.    


THE OLYMPIC FLAME: LIT BY GREEK VIRGINS, THE OLYMPICS FLAME TO BURN IN THE MODERN OLYMPICS WAS INITIATED BY THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT AT BERLIN.

VALE: 1936 OLYMPIC GAMES -- OLDEST SWIMMING GOLD MEDALLIST DIES AT 98

FRANK MORRIS

Adolph Keifer, aged 98, who died at his home in Illinois, was a swimming legend. He had been the oldest living US Olympic gold medallist in any sport, said the International Swimming Hall of fame.

At 17, he won the 100m backstroke at the 1936 Berlin Olympics in an Olympic record time that “stood for 20 years”.

“Adolph embodied swimming and lived it every day of his life,” USA swimming interim executive director Mike Unger said. ‘’He was a pioneer for our sport in the truest sense of the word.”

MASSIVE SHOWPIECE

Kiefer was an instructor in the Navy and a business owner whose swimming products helped advance the sport.

The 1936 Berlin Olympic Games was one of Hitler’s massive showpieces and there were swastikas bedecking the stadium. But that was the year that famous American runner Jesse Owens was competing.  Jesse Owens had disconcerted Hitler by winning four gold medals.

He won the 100m and 200m sprints, the long jump and was the final runner in the US team 4 x 100m relay. The only Australian to score a medal (a bronze) was Jack Metcalfe for finishing third in the Hop, step and jump.h

<< Words from the AAP report; Frank Morris.

COMING: 1936 Berlin Olympic Games … Their dreams of athletic supremacy were never questioned.


IT’S THE TOPS! ALAN PORTER’S REPLICA OF GELIGNITE JACK MURRAY’S 1948 FORD V8 SUPER DELUXE. IT WAS USED FOR 1995 MOBIL TRIAL AND WAS NUMBERED 201.

THE FAMILY’S FAVOURITE CARS! GELIGNITE JACK MURRAY’S 1948 FORD AND RECENT REPLICAS

After being retired from active duty in car trials, Jack Murray’s old 1948 Ford V8 Super DeLuxe Grey Ghost was put display in an old car museum, said writer Trevor Poulsen of Restored Cars.

“Unfortunately the loan of the Grey Ghost was on a handshake, which was typically Jack.” The owner of the Museum died some time ago and the “Grey Ghost was treated as an asset of the Museum”. The next step, was the auction.

SUCCESSFUL BID

“John, Jack’s eldest son,” said Poulsen, “got wind of this impending auction that was to be held on the Gold Coast. “ Jack sent a colleague to bid on the car so it could be in the family’s possession once again.

The bid was successful. The car is back in the family.

“After all these years, if you ask the question, ‘Who won the Around Australia Trials in the 1950s?’ the chances are that most people will still remember Gelignite Jack Murray and the Grey Ghost. It made a deep impression in Australian motor sport history.” Adapted by Frank Morris. Information from Restored Cars, May-June 2017.

Pictures: Old mates: Gelignite Jack Murray’s Grey Ghost, the Ford V8 Super DeLuxe.


FAMILY DOUBLE: BSA A10 44 MOTORCYCLE AND A TILBROOK CAR. THE CAR BEARS A FAMILY NAME. IT WAS MANFACTURED BY MY FATHER IN 1953.

THE FAMILY’S FAVOURITE CARS! HE MADE 1000s OF SIDECARS  

Rex Patterson made thousands of sidecars and I have a standard model attached to a BSA A10 44. I have just purchased the one car he made which is described in the Restored Cars Magazine article, said Lyndon Tilbrook.

“The photograph of the car is one I took in 1988 at Rex’s home in Victor Harbour, South Australia. Little did I know that 18 years later, I would own this car to complete my collection?

WHERE ARE THE DOORS?

“The Tilbrook is a small three-wheeler with a Villiers 197cc 2 stroke motor driving the single rear wheel. The degree of ugliness is enhanced by the car only having a single headlight mounted centrally in the grille. There are no doors with cut away sides to ease access in and out of the small roadster type body.

“I have just picked up the car which is now completed disassembled. I’ve got some work ahead to get this up and running.” Adapted by Frank Morris. Restored Cars Magazine, Jan-Feb, 2017.

Picture: Open sesame: Oh, no doors!


GRANDMA OR NANNY: I CALLED MINE NANNY. SHE CAN CHERISH, INSPIRE, PROTECT AND CHATISE. SHE’S A GRANDMOTHER, DON’T YOU FORGET IT!

THINK ABOUT IT! GRANDMOTHERS WITH LOVE

FRANK MORRIS

To place my grandmother in the picture, I’II have to start at my in home in Bexley, NSW. That’s where we lived. I don’t remember anything before that. I resided with mum and dad, Cyril and Iris. I was then only 3 years old. Our home, I thought, was a pleasant, tranquil house-hold.

As I recall Cyril, my dad, worked for Sydney trams as a painter and decorator.                     

I would dress up in my cowboy suit willing to take on the world, like all cowpoke’s do; then I went to my mum’s family who owned a grocery shop. I had brilliant times on all the occasions I went there. I took my prized toys – a fire engine and a spitfire.

One day something got on my nerves. I was walking on the enclosed back veranda and saw the ice chest, airing, with all the doors open. I felt like climbing it. I did.

When I was about to reach the top the whole caboodle came tumbling down; the door on which I decided to climb into the chest gave up the ghost; then there was a wwwhoosh! bannng!

I let out a scream. My mum ran of the kitchen, my dad came from the back yard. They both yelled at me, and laughed. We all laughed. They thought it was picturesque as anything to behold. I was cuddled by my mum for ages.

SO BREATH-TAKING

I was unware of anything drastic taking shape. I lived a quiet, placid life doing what babies or do. But let me tell you, things went slightly off the rail.

The last  several months would be filled with drama. And, for the first time, I looked into my mother’s face and saw the wear and tear that told the story. The thing that really got to me, though, was her straight auburn hair, which looked so breath-taking, was now going the palest of grey. I’ll never forget it.

My mum had contracted a heart condition. She had it, I was told, before she conceived me. Oh, yes, I remember it. It’s was one of the spookiest times of my life.

My mum died when I was 3 years-old in 1940; after I got over the shock of my mum not being around again (I think heaven was used), I noticed that a few cracks were starting to appear from yours truly.

My grandmother was there to pick up the pieces. I’m still not over it; I never will be. I’m still thinking of mum whom I hardly knew. This continues.

Picture: Those were the days. Remember cuddling into your grandma? I do.

Coming: Life with grandma, or nanny, as I used to call her, there for the boy who had much to live for.


THING ABOUT IT! BAKED WITH LOVE IN GRANDMAS’ KITCHENS EVERYWHERE!

Chocolate Fudge

Put into a saucepan and boil for four minutes:

½ cup of milk/2 cups sugar /1 tablespoon butter/1 tablespoon of cocoa.

Remove from heat and add few drops of vanilla essence. Beat until thick, then pour into a buttered dish and cut into squares when set.  To My Grandmother with love, Victoria Avenue Paper Company. Knox, Victoria 3180.

 

 

 

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 19 May 17

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